Health care reform as a lesson in partisan-era politics

As we go into the home stretch of this protracted health care reform battle, it would be useful to consider a few lessons that we have learned, and are learning, about how progressive legislation gets passed in this relatively unprecedented era of extreme partisan politics.

What follow are some of the points to keep in mind so that these last weeks of health care reform are experienced by us Democrats as days of confidence and celebration.  Then, as the battleground after the new year shifts to jobs, we will be prepared to launch a major offensive on behalf of unemployed workers and to position ourselves strongly for the 2010 elections.

This health care reform battle has first and foremost been a lesson in political theatrics and drama.  "Health care reform is dead." "No, it's alive." "The public option is dead.""No, it's alive." "We've got 60 seats." "No, we don't have sixty seats." "Correction, we do have 60 seats."......  To President Obama and the other players involved, health care is a done deal.  It has probably been a done deal for some time now.  For us to be sucked into the media-driven drama during these last weeks amounts to wasted energy and needless worry.  Let's focus on getting into the holiday spirit, and rest up so that when the final bill passes, we will be able to celebrate a huge political victory and a huge victory for the American People.

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Seeking Political Reform Through Solidarity

All over the Internet are sincere efforts to reform and improve America's political-government system.  The downside is fragmentation of the subpopulation that has escaped brainwashing, cultural distraction, and self-delusion.  Strategy solidarity is missing, but is possible.

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30 Republican House Seats in Jeopardy

From the conservative InvestorsInsight Publishing

The Mid-Term Elections: More Bad News For The GOP (scroll down)

[T]here is now the possibility that the Democrats could retake the House of Representatives, and maybe even pick up a couple of Senate seats as well.

There has been a gigantic shift in the electoral map, perhaps one of the greatest shifts in recent political history. I must tell you going in, that most of the blame for this massive shift lies with President Bush and his administration...

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MyDD Poll: Investigation, Impeachment and Extremism

This is a long post, but I truly hope you'll stay with it to the end. In my view, there's plenty of gems in here and we're getting ready to `go at throttle up' on the Analytical Rocket. This post helps you strap into the rocket, I hope.

First, for fun: an observation and conclusion. You know it's going to be a wild political year when all the politicos want briefings `on what's happening out there'. Now, yesterday. Eight months out. Uh-huh. Are we a bit on edge these days, folks? A bit concern-ed? A bit unsure-ed? Natch on that and there you go on my recent and upcoming sched. Briefings, briefings, briefings, at the end of which comes the world-renowned "Hmm. Really? Hmm." That's the take on the current state of blue campaign strategery in this neck of the woods: noodlin', ponderin', chin-rubbin'. Lots of "hmm."

I am sure you get the picture. It's TBD which frame is more apropos for the year, though: a refrain from Country Joe McDonald's Fixin' to Die Rag ("open up the Pearly Gates, there ain't no time to wonder why, whoopee, we're all gonna die!") or from Public Image Ltd.'s Warrior ("I take no quarter. This is my land. I'll never surrender. I am. A Warrior.").

Strategically, from what I've seen, I'd say the Talking Heads' Once in a Lifetime has the point locally and nationally so far in 2006: "same as it ever was" for political communications, folks. Politicos are simply more fidgety this time. Nervous tics, that sort of thing. The poor dumb bastards. I'll definitely return to this issue when we get to the recommendations section of the research, given what we know now and also what I think we'll find in the extended analysis (which I plan to conduct and then present next).  And those recommendations are most likely include relentlessly slapping `em all silly. Just so you know. Tough love, you see. Especially since the national blues have that killer-diller Silver Bullet thematic going against the reds: "We can do better." (Sigh.) Jeebus. Jiminy Freaking Christmas, that'll catch fire with voters, don't ya think? Riiiiight.

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One More Nail In The Democratic Party Coffin

Reed Hundt over at TPM Cafe adds one more nail to the coffin of the Democratic Party's political strategy. The theme of the Democratic Apparatchiks is "just win" and we can worry about issues and strategy later:

Just win elections, say some Democrats. And if you don't win or haven't won, then what?

Here's their fatal flaw:

By advocating compromise first, the Democratic Party has lost the confidence of its base and the sympathy of the people. That's why arguing for just winning elections is not pragmatic, even though the advocates think they are being intensely pragmatic. Moreover, the "elections first" crowd always ends up debating tactics, not strategy; concessions, not convictions; practicality, not principle. That group is never bold or open in its thinking. It is hopeful primarily that the other side stumble, not that it actually win. Perhaps most dangerous, the "elections first" crowd inspires no passion, and has no hope of changing the culture -- which in the end is the goal of all politics.  

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